Today would have been Kaye's seventieth birthday. If she had been able to stay, instead of hanging out and feeling sad today, I would likely have been a whirring dervish celebrating this day in style.
It is hard to believe sometimes that it has been seven years. Perhaps this birthday feels more intense so closely following the heels of the loss of David.
When my own kids and I were processing, they brought up how loved and doted on they always felt at her house.
I went back to look again at her eulogy.
I believe though, her greatest strength was her love and devotion to someone in need. Particularly a child. She was always smitten by little children and spoiling them gave her such delight. I remember taking Adam to visit, just toddling and her taking him around the kitchen and her offering five or six different things before we left. “Here, you want Aunt Kaye to get you a candy bar? A sucker? how about a Popsicle, I have a a cookie? That was the norm.
Any suffering child, grieved her heart, and moved her to do whatever she might to fix it. I remember the night we had to have our collie dog put to sleep, her coming out with donuts just to cry with us.
Her large family gave her room to love on lots of kiddos with forty plus nephews and nieces, in addition to her own beloved little chickens, Oliver, Annabelle , Emmeline and Everett and their Daddy John too.
Though hairy, smelly beasts were never her strong suit, she even loved her granddogs, Rocky and Rufus.
I'm sad she missed meeting my littles who came after. Toddlers were her particular love and I can only imagine how she would have delighted in Pixie and Mr. Smiley.
What ifs are wasted time and energy, I know. Still, I wonder if things might have turned out different for David if they had turned out different for her.
This picture marked the beginning of the end to the solidarity of this set of seven, in more ways than the loss of Kaye. Life is certainly hard to navigate sometimes isn't it?